Minnesota has been a reliably Democratic state for a long, long time. They were the only state to vote for Walter Mondale in 1984. The have voted for a Republican candidate only four times in the last eighty years.
But, according to the latest Star Tribune poll, those days could be coming to an end.
A new Star Tribune Minnesota Poll shows that the race is now a dead heat between Barack Obama and John McCain, each supported by 45 percent of likely voters in the state.
The new poll likely will stoke both sides' efforts during the final 51 days until the election, triggering a barrage of advertising, grass-roots politicking and, potentially, stepped-up visits by the candidates.
The poll found that McCain has made gains across the board since a May Minnesota Poll that showed him trailing by 13 points. He has picked up considerable support among men and to a lesser degree among women. He also has boosted his standing with whites, young voters and all levels of household income and education.
If Senator McCain and Governor Palin can continue to make gains in states like Minnesota, Washington, Michigan and Pennsylvania, this could turn into an electoral college landslide.